What could be more heavenly than an afternoon spent at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, working your way through an assortment of confectioneries and nibbles laced with some of the world’s best chocolate? The award-winning pastry chef and chocolatier, Gianluca Fusto, has joined forces with prestigious French chocolate brand Valrhona to delight guests at Lounge on the Park with his chocolate-infused creations.
Available until 1 October, the Chocolate Afternoon Tea (from RM148 per stand, or RM198 if you’d like a mini bottle of Moët as an accompaniment) isn’t as sinful as you might fear. Instead, Fusto’s offerings play with the diverse range of sweetness, acidity, and bitterness that Valrhona’s intriguing selection of rare cocoas are famous for. His Manjari.17 pastry, for instance, pairs a fruity single origin Madagascan chocolate cream with a grainy cocoa nib cookie and tangy orange compote.
A delicate Giulia pastry explores the buttery, toasty notes of Valrhona’s 32 per cent cacao Blond Dulcey chocolate, combining it with an equally creamy apricot mayo on an elegant buckwheat sable. Moreish Couer de Guanaja crackers wait to be smeared with Opalys Vanilla or Caramelia creams and Guanaja spread, while even the fingers sandwiches come infused with Valrhona, like a chocolate croissant with asparagus and smoked salmon. If you can’t get enough of Fusto’s work, do stop by The Mandarin Cake Shop and take one of his signature pastries home with you: we recommend the Orelys pecan financier with raspberry compote and liquorice mousse.